• Skalidris
    118
    There is a German term called "Weltschmerz", that translates to "world-weariness" or "world-pain". It refers to a feeling of sadness or melancholy arising from an awareness of the imperfections and disappointments in the world, often leading to pessimism, resignation or escapism. It happens when people realise their expectations can never meet reality. They get disappointed in human nature and feel helpless. "I know too much for my own good" they might say.

    Why do these realisations lead to melancholy or escapism? Why don’t people change their expectations instead of being mad about human nature? Why isn’t there a discipline that aims to build concepts that are closer to reality? Why do we keep these intuitive concepts that we can’t even define and that are a poor reflection of reality? Beauty, love, selfishness, happiness,… Why do we have to go through the realisations of “everyone is selfish” repeatedly across generations instead of being productive and replacing these with concepts that we can actually define and that meet reality better.

    We have so many insights about human nature but yet we keep on using concepts that give us a completely unrealistic view of humans, and cause Weltschmerz whenever we try to learn more.
  • Outlander
    2k
    It's like watching a violent friend who struggles with alcoholism or drug use or violence.

    Knowing they're going to die (or at least get in trouble and further the negative actions and emotions) but just doesn't listen. No matter what you say or try. They make progress when you're around- sometimes. But inevitably fall right back into their old ways, sometimes getting you into trouble or worse as well.

    You tend to discount the person's welfare, if not only temporarily so as to avoid a greater selfishness of not focusing on those who can and will listen and society as a whole. However, you know if they're going to get in trouble or something similar, they're likely going to be impacting other people's lives or society as a whole before they go down. You don't want to just flat out say "Hey man, shape up, you're making us look bad" because more often than not that just pushes them further down into the cycle of negative thoughts followed by foolish actions they can't seem to avoid. Now multiply that by 8 billion people.

    It really gets frustrating. You can't just say "oh well" and write off another human being as a "loss" as if they were a carton of eggs that fell off the back of a truck. On the other hand, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Can't save everyone. Many a fool has tried.

    It comes down to knowing throughout the development process, people will make mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes are very severe and overreaching into the lives of those who have nothing to do with the person. Say some kid gets bullied in school or a mentally-unstable adult is habitually harassed at his place of work then decides to shoot up the place and kill 50 people. And you knew the guy. Well, at least talked to him a few times. All you had to do... was be his friend, calm him down, let him know there's good people everywhere and we're all in this together, even those who don't seem to think so. But instead you were in a hurry and got upset because he took an extra two minutes on your order. Point being it really boggles the mind how such small little gestures or even inaction can literally change the world and lives of countless people. So what do you do? How do you even go about solving such a ill-defined yet clear problem? You can't "make people be nice" to one another any more than you can force people to live a life without mistakes they (when lucky) live to regret. What does one do.
  • Vera Mont
    3.8k
    Why don’t people change their expectations instead of being mad about human nature? Why isn’t there a discipline that aims to build concepts that are closer to reality?Skalidris

    We do. But reality sucks.
  • wonderer1
    1.8k
    Why don’t people change their expectations instead of being mad about human nature?Skalidris

    Because expectations are largely a function of intuitions, and changing intuitions isn't under our conscious control, and can take a long time.

    Because many people have been indoctrinated into believing a false account of human nature and don't want to accept a more accurate (less grandiose) understanding.
  • Joshs
    5.5k


    Why don’t people change their expectations instead of being mad about human nature? Why isn’t there a discipline that aims to build concepts that are closer to reality?Skalidris

    Now there’s a depressing thought.
  • javra
    2.5k
    Why don’t people change their expectations instead of being mad about human nature? Why isn’t there a discipline that aims to build concepts that are closer to reality?Skalidris

    I’ve heard people maintain that rape is an ingrained aspect of human nature. Their argument basically boils down to “the proof is in the pudding: rape happens in the world and always has”. This genetically determined aspect of human nature is so called “reality” as they see it. So, does that mean that the rest of us ought to change our expectations so that they are accordant to this real reality … say when our wives, or children, or other relatives and loved ones are raped or assaulted? Is acceptance of rape, as a staple aspect of human nature that can’t be changed, then supposed to somehow make us less melancholic, or worse, when rape happens?

    For those who happen to know what the true nature of Human Nature is, is it dynamically plastic (on account of givens such as environment) or is it eternally static in full (due to some ontologically deterministic reason)? More specifically, this in relation to givens such as rape.

    ------

    In Hugo’s Hunchback of Notre Dame there’s mention of “Tempus edax, homo edacior” (time is blind, man is stupid). I rather like it as aphorism, being a man myself. I'm thinking it might be of help with the melancholy of “knowing too much".
  • ToothyMaw
    1.2k
    Why do these realisations lead to melancholy or escapism? Why don’t people change their expectations instead of being mad about human nature? Why isn’t there a discipline that aims to build concepts that are closer to reality?Skalidris

    I think that people are genuinely confused, and when they aren't they are as likely to be devastated by clarity as they are to be enriched by it. People want things to adhere to their naive preconceptions that are usually somewhat inculcated in them, and, as you suggest, what we would need is not a revolution in terms of a series of cyclical epiphanies, but rather a method by which we can dispel the bullshit and prop up truths - especially those truths that have utility or are impactful.

    Why do we keep these intuitive concepts that we can’t even define and that are a poor reflection of reality?Skalidris

    They might not represent reality properly, but they do enable the representations of reality that we hold in our heads. None of us are just seeing the world for what it truly is like a machine reads code, but rather we navigate a very complex space that is full of abstractions, contradictions, ambiguity, and emotional influence. In fact, those things are required for a human to navigate the world socially and otherwise, I would argue.

    We have so many insights about human nature but yet we keep on using concepts that give us a completely unrealistic view of humans, and cause Weltschmerz whenever we try to learn more.Skalidris

    People are perfectly content not to avail themselves of all of the insights we have into human nature because there are other things to do and it can be unpleasant. I mean, sometimes one gets slapped in the face with an "insight", and it is often times unpleasant, but that sounds like what you are saying one might want to avoid? Are you not kind of suggesting we catalogue human nature and teach it so as to avoid Weltschmertz?
  • Skalidris
    118
    “the proof is in the pudding: rape happens in the world and always has”. This genetically determined aspect of human nature is so called “reality” as they see it.javra

    Just because some humans do some things doesn't mean everyone should do it, that has nothing to do with being closer to human nature. When I mentioned making concepts that are closer to reality, I meant it in a scientific way, gather the best knowledge we have about human nature and try to change concepts that are misleading like those I mentioned. How is considering rape as a crime distorting human nature?

    but rather a method by which we can dispel the bullshit and prop up truths - especially those truths that have utility or are impactful.ToothyMaw

    Yes, it would come with a method. And about having a use, the problem is that we don't always know what's going to be useful and what's not. It's like doing fundamental scientific research, you may find things but not all of them will have a direct use, and you can't judge their use if you don't even know what the findings will be. But unlike sciences, doing research in the field of digging into human nature can have destructive consequences.
    Imagine if there was such a discipline, it could have the power to destroy everything we rely on, it could even have the power to destroy most of our language. Will we say "I love you" anymore? Will we still say "you're selfish"? There are so many concepts we use everyday that seem absurd considering what we know about human nature. How would such a discipline emerge if it's like a dangerous bomb over which you have no control? It's not like we can say "don't use the method for everything", once people understand it, they will be tempted to analyse everything around them with it.

    In fact, those things are required for a human to navigate the world socially and otherwise, I would argue.ToothyMaw

    But to what extend? I never implied it to be black and white, and to completely destroy all intuitive concepts, but to make it more and more rational, and more in harmony with our knowledge of human nature.

    we catalogue human nature and teach it so as to avoid Weltschmertz?ToothyMaw

    Yes, that's what I'm suggesting.

    Point being it really boggles the mind how such small little gestures or even inaction can literally change the world and lives of countless peopleOutlander

    Doesn't it boggle the mind specifically because we've been mislead about how much we can do to make things "better"? For example, in my opinion, wishing for peace in the world is completely unrealistic, but that doesn't mean we can't do things to avoid violent and deadly wars. And if someone struggles with drug abuse, expecting them to get better if you say "it's bad for you, it's destroying your life" is unrealistic too. If you're more aware about the problem and the changes that are possible, it might seem more depressing at first but at least you won't keep on being frustrated and you won't expect them to quit after one conversation.
  • javra
    2.5k
    Just because some humans do some things doesn't mean everyone should do it, that has nothing to do with being closer to human nature. When I mentioned making concepts that are closer to reality, I meant it in a scientific way, gather the best knowledge we have about human nature and try to change concepts that are misleading like those I mentioned.Skalidris

    I think I understand you better now. Don't we already have such fields, though, including those of sociology, anthropology, and cognitive sciences?

    I instead generally find that most are unconcerned for the established data thereby produced, especially when it conflicts with their preconceptions. And you generally can't force education down someone's throat against their will and expect the other to actually assimilate the data into their belief systems. So, to me, it seems to comes down to the issues of education and self-determined interests.

    How is considering rape as a crime distorting human nature?Skalidris

    Well - although I fully agree with the sentiment - this pivots on the cultural battles that occur in some spheres regarding what human nature in fact is. We all project to some extent of ourselves onto others, and society at large. (is reality dog-eat-dog or not) But, what I find more important, we all hold some metaphysical pre-judments regarding the nature of reality and our place in it as humans. No doubt some empirically discoverable human universals occur and will continue to occur for as long as the human species remains human - but this doesn't come close to defining what "human nature" in fact is. This latter issue is fully contingent on the nature of metaphysical topics - as previously alluded to, such as the extent to which the human nature is plastic rather than being fully determined. Scientific data will not resolve this question.

    To more directly answer, to some of those who deem human nature fully deterministic, the rape and assault and misogyny/gynophobia (latter: fear of femininity) that currently occurs in societies is there as a God or Nature given aspect of human nature. One that cannot be changed even in principle; one that is therefore not an intrinsic bad. If not a bad ... then it shouldn't be looked down upon when, for example, the male victors or a war or battle or conflict rape the women of the vanquished populace or party. Or, one can express something of the same for marital rape - which until recently was commonly accepted as not a crime.

    As to crime, instead of rape being viewed an intrinsic wrong and thus criminal, one could go by the crime of damaging another men's property. Not unheard of in history. And this would make certain rapes non-criminal.

    To be crystal clear, I'm not one to endorse the view just expressed, but I find it (or else something close enough to it) sufficiently prevalent to make mention of ... such as guys that want to (and thereby fantasize about) forcefully having sex with women that are antagonistic to them in arguments (etc.), and deem this natural. As in an integral aspect of human nature - or else of blatant reality that only ignoramuses of one type or another don't see.

    But then, in my own belief systems, I do uphold that humanity has within it the potential to globally occur in world wherein sapient beings don't rape other sapient beings. Not tomorrow, and not in a hundred years. But as I view the issue, the potential is nevertheless there. (this to stay on the same topic rather than to address far more complex issues, such as the notion of a global, voluntary peace (here strictly meaning lack of warfare) among humans being possible, or not, in principle).
  • Skalidris
    118
    Don't we already have such fields, though, including those of sociology, anthropology, and cognitive sciences?javra

    If these fields were trying to replace the intuitive concepts that are misleading about human nature, we wouldn't spend hours on this forum pointing out how they don't make sense. "Are humans selfish?", "Does freewill exist?", "What's the meaning of life?". We still use these poorly defined concepts that, when you think about it, are contradicting our knowledge of reality.

    but this doesn't come close to defining what "human nature" in fact isjavra

    Why make it binary? There is no such thing as "perfect knowledge", knowledge is always evolving. What I mean is that what we currently know, in more scientific fields, not personal opinions or cultural believes, is in contradiction with a lot of intuitive everyday concepts. I just don't understand why no one fixes it.

    To give you another example, the expectations we have of romantic love, the way it is painted in movies, is honestly closer to expecting being love bombed by narcissists than actually wanting to be close and spend your life with someone because you truly love who they are. And I believe so many relationships fail because people still hold on to these expectations and never reach it.
  • Joshs
    5.5k


    What I mean is that what we currently know, in more scientific fields, not personal opinions or cultural believes, is in contradiction with a lot of intuitive everyday concepts. I just don't understand why no one fixes it.Skalidris

    They do fix it, and then they have to unfix it. This is because a scientific theory is a sophisticated form of cultural belief. There is no binding consensus among the various social sciences and branches of psychology on any issue important to human flourishing. Science does not just contradict intuitive everyday concepts, it also
    contradicts itself.
  • universeness
    6.3k

    A good thread with many good contributions imo. For me, the fact that discussions such as this one are alive and kicking and are developing and spreading, and are rational and based on the premise that we can do better, is the 'fresher air,' I think is so welcome. I am sooooooo sick of nihilists, pessimists and doomsters, when they offer almost nothing else.
  • javra
    2.5k
    If these fields were trying to replace the intuitive concepts that are misleading about human nature, we wouldn't spend hours on this forum pointing out how they don't make sense. "Are humans selfish?", "Does freewill exist?", "What's the meaning of life?". We still use these poorly defined concepts that, when you think about it, are contradicting our knowledge of reality.Skalidris

    I for one find the issue of free will important - it facilitates a non-causally-deterministic ontology, for instance. And as to everyone being selfish, I'd say "of course" but in different degrees and with different ambitions (the altruist and the scrooge are both technically selfish, but one is far more selfless than the other). Still, I think I get what you're saying. One thing that's always bothered me, for example, is the concept that authentic love is always unconditional (which I encountered far too often in my youth). To which I say bull. Love between people is always conditional on one person not mistreating the other, this just because they can. Otherwise, dysfunction ensues.

    So I think we agree with the concluding sentiment. But maybe approach it from different angles.

    Why make it binary? There is no such thing as "perfect knowledge", knowledge is always evolving.Skalidris

    No, I didn't intend a sharp dichotomy. Empirical data on the human condition is quite important. But with this issue of whether it's within human nature for humanity to change into something better or of else being doomed to always remaining the same (as in the Roman coliseum days of bread and circus, for example, which I find we're currently reliving), I don't find that empirical data can ever be sufficient to evidence things one way or another.

    For another instance, human nature is intimately entwined with ethics - and empirical data to my knowledge cannot evidence the nature of ethics (e.g., of whether the good is relative or objective), although it can greatly benefit our knowledge of what is and has been in practice.

    To give you another example, the expectations we have of romantic love, the way it is painted in movies, is honestly closer to expecting being love bombed by narcissists than actually wanting to be close and spend your life with someone because you truly love who they are. And I believe so many relationships fail because people still hold on to these expectations and never reach it.Skalidris

    :up:
  • Joshs
    5.5k


    ↪Skalidris
    A good thread with many good contributions imo. For me, the fact that discussions such as this one are alive and kicking and are developing and spreading, and are rational and based on the premise that we can do better, is the 'fresher air,' I think is so welcome. I am sooooooo sick of nihilists, pessimists and doomsters, when they offer almost nothing else.
    universeness
    .
    Perhaps there is a third road that can be taken, one which is neither mired in pessimism, nihilism and doomsaying, nor tied to a notion of the ‘rational’ that grounds itself in the conformity of our representations to the furniture of the universe.
    I’m a strong believer in both scientific and moral progress, but I don’t think that this should be understood as a rational progress if rationality is defined in the way that it most often is. This leads less to progress than to conformity to ready-made presuppositions. The evidence for this can be found by asking what constitutes the opposite of the rational. What are examples of persons holding viewpoints deemed to be irrational? Inevitably the answer leads us to nonconformists, not those failing to think ‘rationally’.
  • universeness
    6.3k

    I will join you on any rational road, numbered or otherwise. But let's stay within the universe/cosmos as there is no evidence of an 'outside' of the universe/cosmos.
  • Joshs
    5.5k
    ↪Joshs
    I will join you on any rational road, numbered or otherwise. But let's stay within the universe/cosmos as there is no evidence of an 'outside' of the universe/cosmos.
    universeness

    We dont need any other cosmos, given that this one is constantly changing with respect to itself, and the questions we pose to it in the form of our scientific hypotheses, as well as our technologies, participate in and accelerate the pace of the changes in the universe. Our rationality is not a function of mirroring a static cosmos, but of anticipating the effects of the changes we make in the world. The universe is always reinventing itself, with our help, so the task of rationality is to steer it and ourselves into patterns that are more and more harmoniously anticipatable. Most forms of rationality believe it is only our accounts of the universe which are incomplete, but the world itself is also incomplete , and this includes the nature of its laws and forms.
  • universeness
    6.3k
    The universe is always reinventing itself, with our help, so the task of rationality is to steer it and ourselves into patterns that are more and more harmoniously anticipatable.Joshs
    The universe demonsrates no independent intent. Any affect we have as a species, on anything, is currently very local indeed, and hardly goes beyond this tiny pale blue dot. Imo, this thread tries to focus thoughts, on the premise that we can improve the human experience, if we perhaps focus a little more on such as:

    We have so many insights about human nature but yet we keep on using concepts that give us a completely unrealistic view of humans, and cause Weltschmerz whenever we try to learn more.Skalidris
  • Joshs
    5.5k
    The universe demonsrates no independent intent.universeness

    Every aspect of the non-living world expresses agency and intent in the sense that all events that take place among material entities occur within changing configurations of relations that define what these events, and entities are. Entities in the world don’t pre-exist these configurations. Rather, contingently changing configurations condition the nature of materiality just as configurations of ideas condition and define how we interpret the world.

    . Any affect we have as a species, on anything, is currently very local indeed, and hardly goes beyond this tiny pale blue dot. Imo, this thread tries to focus thoughts, on the premise that we can improve the human experience, if we perhaps focus a little more on such as:

    We have so many insights about human nature but yet we keep on using concepts that give us a completely unrealistic view of humans, and cause Weltschmerz whenever we try to learn more.
    universeness

    You’re missing the point. The aim of knowledge is not to take an accurate picture of the universe (and the minds of other people) but to effect more and more harmonious changes within whatever small part of it we are interested in interacting with. Knowledge isnt about passively representing what things are in themselves, but about what we are trying to do with things in a pragmatic sense. The richer and more complex our uses of our surroundings, the more we come to know what our world is ‘in itself’. Since other human beings are the aspect of our surroundings we care the most about, it is this aspect of that world that we focus most of our energies on. Improving our understanding of others isnt about becoming more realistic, more rational, as if earlier ways of understanding each other were less real or weren’t already useful. It’s about trying on for size more and more open-ended and flexible ways of interacting with each other, aiming for a ‘dance’ in which each of us can optimally anticipate the others’ moves.
  • universeness
    6.3k
    You’re missing the point.Joshs
    No, not at all, and your word salad offering meant very little to me. Perhaps it will mean more to others.

    Improving our understanding of others isnt about becoming more realistic, more rational, as if earlier ways of understanding each other were less real or weren’t already useful.Joshs
    Such sentences are just bizarre imo, are you advocating for a less rational and less realistic approach to understanding others? I advocated for rational communication, I did not place the word 'more' next to the word 'rational,' in my posts above.

    We have to find better ways to communicate with each other and find where we have majority common cause. We all need food, water, shelter, medical support, education, security, and purpose, for example, and these are far far more important and common to all of us, compared to personal beliefs, race, nationality, gender, age, colour, where you were born or who your parents are.

    It’s about trying on for size more and more open-ended and flexible ways of interacting with each other, aiming for a ‘dance’ in which each of us can optimally anticipate the others’ moves.Joshs
    Sounds like you are shopping, entertaining or playing games, instead of talking about communicating with real people.
  • Tom Storm
    8.7k
    It’s about trying on for size more and more open-ended and flexible ways of interacting with each other, aiming for a ‘dance’ in which each of us can optimally anticipate the others’ moves.Joshs

    I find this interesting. Can you say some more about what you have in mind regarding the anticipation of the other's moves being of benefit - perhaps an example?

    The aim of knowledge is not to take an accurate picture of the universe (and the minds of other people) but to effect more and more harmonious changes within whatever small part of it we are interested in interacting with. Knowledge isnt about passively representing what things are in themselves, but about what we are trying to do with things in a pragmatic senseJoshs

    Effecting some harmonious changes in the small part of the universe I interact with is a reasonable description of one person's goals. Do you have thoughts on how we assess whether a change is harmonious (apart from the obvious lack of visible conflict)?
    .
  • Joshs
    5.5k
    We have to find better ways to communicate with each other and find where we have majority common cause. We all need food, water, shelter, medical support, education, security, and purpose, for example, and these are far far more important and common to all of us, compared to personal beliefs, race, nationality, gender, age, colour, where you were born or who your parents areuniverseness

    What prevents us from finding common cause is assuming that rationality means finding a correct standard around which to base that communication rather respecting differing value and ethical systems and attempting to negotiate common cause based on that respect.


    Sounds like you are shopping, entertaining or playing games, instead of talking about communicating with real people.universeness

    Playing games is the way a number of prominent philosophers describe the art of social communication (Derrida’s play, Wittgenstein’s language games).
  • universeness
    6.3k
    What prevents us from finding common cause is assuming that rationality means finding a correct standard around which to base that communication rather respecting differing value and ethical systems and attempting to negotiate common cause based on that respect.Joshs

    Nothing wrong with that! where did I suggest otherwise? I think it's very very difficult for many to 'respect the differing values and ethical systems,' of nazi scumbags etc, but there does come a moment of m.a.d, when it is better to communicate with even that which you hate most in this life, rather than accept the inevitable result of nihilism, pessimism and doomsterism, ie, accepting that the extinction of our species is already determined. This is part of the reason I am sick of having to listen to them, but I also accept that they are not going away anytime soon. So, reasoning with such folks, remains my only option as Ignoring them is far too dangerous, as they affect too many other people.

    Playing games is the way a number of prominent philosophers describe the art of social communication (Derrida’s play, Wittgenstein’s language games).Joshs
    Fair enough, but then such philosophers are not helping imo, life is not a game and neither is our survival and our progress into maintaining that which I already think we are, a net positive existent, in this otherwise, meaningless universe, (at least as far as we currently know.)
  • universeness
    6.3k
    Playing games is the way a number of prominent philosophers describe the art of social communication (Derrida’s play, Wittgenstein’s language games).Joshs

    Just based on my own further thinking on the above quote. I am not suggesting that 'role play' or simulating/emulating common human dilemma scenarios, is not a valid way to communicate with or educate others. This does not however change my point regarding playing games and living real life or respecting the difference between talking about life in Gaza right now, simulating it to educate others or actually living through it. So Derrida and Wittgenstein may have had important messages they wanted to get across to others, and I respect that, but so do most of us. It's finding the common ground between the majority of us that I think the OP in this thread was suggesting overall, should remain our common goal.
  • Joshs
    5.5k


    This does not however change my point regarding playing games and living real life or respecting the difference between talking about life in Gaza right now, simulating it to educate others or actually living through it. So Derrida and Wittgenstein may have had important messages they wanted to get across to others, and I respect that, but so do most of us. It's finding the common ground between the majority of us that I think the OP in this thread was suggesting overall, should remain our common goal.universeness

    A notable current in thinking about the origins and nature of justice and friendship draws from research on animal play For instance , Shaun Gallagher links justice with play. In his latest book, Action and Interaction, Gallagher(2020) writes

    “… if Bekoff and Peirce are right that a sense of justice “seems to be an innate and universal tendency in humans” , and continuous with certain tendencies in some non-human animals, a more basic sense than the sense of fairness may be at stake—a sense, perhaps, of just being able to respond, or being able to join in the back-and-forth arrangement of responses.”

    Gallagher distinguishes play from games:

    I think that play (or what we might call free play) should be distinguished from games, where rules are pre-determined or already instituted. In free play there may be implicit taboos, but they do not emerge or get defined as rules until something goes wrong; and this gets signaled by pausing the play, or stopping it full stop, or transitioning into something that is no longer play. Play involves action and interaction and the ability or possibility of the participants to continue in play. It's defined by a set of interactive affordances. When one animal starts to dominate in playful interaction, closing off the other's affordance space (or eliminating the autonomy of the other), the interaction and the play stops. Self-handicapping (e.g., not biting as hard as the dog can) is a response to the other's vulnerability as the action develops, based on an immediate sense of, or an attunement to what would or would not cause pain rather than on a rule. Role-reversal (where the dominant animal makes itself more vulnerable) creates an immediate affordance for the continuance of play. If in a friendly playful interaction one player gets hurt, becomes uncomfortable, or is pushed beyond her affective limits, this can generate an immediate feeling of distrust for the other. That would constitute a disruption of the friendship, a break in this very basic sense that is prior to measures of fairness, exchange, or retribution. Robert Solomon captures this idea at the right scale:

    “Justice presumes a personal concern for others. It is first of all a sense, not a rational or social construction, and I want to argue that this sense is, in an important sense, natural.”
  • universeness
    6.3k
    Justice presumes a personal concern for others. It is first of all a sense, not a rational or social construction, and I want to argue that this sense is, in an important sense, natural.

    Justice is also a self-interest, it is imo, predominately a self-interest and is the source of the golden rule. Treat others as you would have them treat you, (accepting of course, that anomalies such as masochism or insanity, do not invalidate the golden rule.) Justice is both rational and socially wise. It is also socially constructed as you and the main quotes above confirm, as it is quickly employed, when even children at play judge an action to be fair or unfair and protest accordingly.
    This is all very interesting academically, but I am far more interested in applications in a realpolitik environment.
    You keep trying to downgrade rationality. Quite unsuccessfully imo. You have yet to be clear on what you suggest is more important than employing rationality when trying to communicate with others.

    Perhaps there is a third road that can be taken, one which is neither mired in pessimism, nihilism and doomsaying, nor tied to a notion of the ‘rational’ that grounds itself in the conformity of our representations to the furniture of the universe.
    I’m a strong believer in both scientific and moral progress, but I don’t think that this should be understood as a rational progress if rationality is defined in the way that it most often is. This leads less to progress than to conformity to ready-made presuppositions. The evidence for this can be found by asking what constitutes the opposite of the rational. What are examples of persons holding viewpoints deemed to be irrational?Inevitably the answer leads us to nonconformists, not those failing to think ‘rationally’.
    Joshs

    This quote has no substance or useful significance imo.

    @Tom Storm has already responded to:
    It’s about trying on for size more and more open-ended and flexible ways of interacting with each other, aiming for a ‘dance’ in which each of us can optimally anticipate the others’ moves.Joshs

    with:
    I find this interesting. Can you say some more about what you have in mind regarding the anticipation of the other's moves being of benefit - perhaps an example?Tom Storm

    Why don't you answer him and also answer why any relationship between irrationality and nonconformity is significant here?

    What are examples of persons holding viewpoints deemed to be irrational?Joshs

    How about such as:
    I am/should be the King of the world.
    God legislates and I/we as its prophet(s)/representative(s) dictate. Comply or be damned for eternity.
    I/we are superior to all else.
    All humans are equal but some humans are more equal than others.
    I/we are prettier, richer, have a better skin colour, taller, faster, stronger, more intelligent, come from better people, follow the only 'true' religion and have better tech than you, so you deserve to be fully dominated by me/us.
  • Joshs
    5.5k
    Can you say some more about what you have in mind regarding the anticipation of the other's moves being of benefit - perhaps an example?Tom Storm

    I asked universeness what are examples of persons holding viewpoints deemed to be irrational. He replied:

    “How about such as:
    I am/should be the King of the world.
    God legislates and I/we as its prophet(s)/representative(s) dictate. Comply or be damned for eternity.
    I/we are superior to all else.
    All humans are equal but some humans are more equal than others.
    I/we are prettier, richer, have a better skin colour, taller, faster, stronger, more intelligent, come from better people, follow the only 'true' religion and have better tech than you, so you deserve to be fully dominated by me/us.”

    I’m sure you can see how each of these pronouncements could reflect a perspective rationally arrived at, and yet strongly at odds with own’s own beliefs.

    Effecting some harmonious changes in the small part of the universe I interact with is a reasonable description of one person's goals. Do you have thoughts on how we assess whether a change is harmonious (apart from the obvious lack of visible conflict)?Tom Storm

    Assessment of harmoniousness can also be described in terms of validation. We construct a template for predicting events, then when this events happen, they either validate our template by being inferentially ( which isn’t the same thing as logically) compatible with our expectations, or invalidate it by surprising us, appearing chaotic and random. This validating process is simultaneously affective and intellectual. What ever profoundly violates our expectations is signaled by anxiety, threat, anger and other negative emotions.
  • universeness
    6.3k
    Assessment of harmoniousness can also be described in terms of validation. We construct a template for predicting events, then when this events happen, they either validate our template by being inferentially ( which isn’t the same thing as logically) compatible with our expectations, or invalidate it by surprising us, appearing chaotic and random. This validating process is simultaneously affective and intellectual. What ever profoundly violates our expectations is signaled by anxiety, threat, anger and other negative emotions.Joshs

    This quote has no substance or useful significance imo.universeness
  • Joshs
    5.5k


    Assessment of harmoniousness can also be described in terms of validation. We construct a template for predicting events, then when this events happen, they either validate our template by being inferentially ( which isn’t the same thing as logically) compatible with our expectations, or invalidate it by surprising us, appearing chaotic and random. This validating process is simultaneously affective and intellectual. What ever profoundly violates our expectations is signaled by anxiety, threat, anger and other negative emotions.
    — Joshs

    This quote has no substance or useful significance imo.
    universeness

    I think I understand now why you’re so concerned about lack of communication in the world.
  • universeness
    6.3k

    You obviously don't as I am not concerned about a lack of communication between people. I am concerned about the quality of that communication. Your posts on this thread so far, have not offered anything of significance towards those concerns. As I stated previously, perhaps others will garnish more value from your contributions than I have.
  • universeness
    6.3k
    I’m sure you can see how each of these pronouncements could reflect a perspective rationally arrived at, and yet strongly at odds with own’s own beliefs.Joshs

    A simplistic statement such as one person's rationality is another person's irrationality, does not invalidate the concept of rationality. Serial killers can justify their actions using their own rationale but the vast majority of human beings can see that their rationale is in fact irrational.

    To me, An example of what you are doing, is diluting the 'real' value of ideas such as the golden rule, by bleating about the exceptions such as masochists. The fact that irrational viewpoints are believed to be rational by their proponents is not important if those proponents have nefarious intent or are 'not right in the head.' Imo, you need to study real people more than you focus on:
    "My research focuses on the radically temporal thinking of Derrida, Heidegger and Eugene Gendlin, and their critical relationship to embodied, enactive approaches influenced by Merleau-Ponty, particularly regarding the interpretation of affectivity, temporality and intersubjectivity."
  • Tom Storm
    8.7k
    We construct a template for predicting events, then when this events happen, they either validate our template by being inferentially ( which isn’t the same thing as logically) compatible with our expectations, or invalidate it by surprising us, appearing chaotic and random.Joshs

    Thanks. I've never really thought much about the role of predictability or expectation. I can see how our ideas and actions are informed by emotion, even where we say 'reason' is the key principle. I'll mull over this.


    I think you are being unfair. As I undertand it, @Joshs ideas are located in postmodernism and phenomenology. The language and conceptual frames he provides are sometimes radically different to how you and I have tended to think. To me that makes him interesting. He is also extremely well read and serious about his philosophy. My own view is that if something seems odd or new to me, it's worth looking into.
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